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GM recalling 1.5 million vehicles over fire concerns

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General Motors Co. said Tuesday it was recalling about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to address a problem with a heated windshield wiper fluid system that could lead to a fire, its second recall over the issue in two years.

The recall affects several pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, crossovers and passenger car models from the 2006 to 2009 model years. GM conducted a similar recall in 2008 but came across new reports of fires in vehicles that had been fixed.

GM said it would disable the heated washer fluid system module that could lead to fires. The Detroit automaker will pay owners and those leasing vehicles $100 each since the feature is being disabled.

GM said it was aware of five fires but there had been no injuries or crashes reported. Nearly 1.4 million vehicles are in the U.S. and more than 100,000 vehicles are in Canada, Mexico and other international markets.

"While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind," said Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of safety.

The recall covers the 2006-2009 model year Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, and Hummer H2; 2008-2009 Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS; 2007-2009 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT; 2007-2009 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe; 2007-2009 GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL; 2007-2009 Saturn Outlook; and 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.

The auto company said customers will begin to receive recall letters later this month but can contact their dealer to make an appointment to have the heated washer system removed. Dealers will remove the heated washer fluid module and reroute washer fluid hoses.

GM said the technology, which helps melt ice in freezing temperatures, was available from only one supplier, Microheat Inc., of Farmington Hills, Mich., which went out of business, preventing GM from working with another supplier on an improved design.

GM recalled more than 900,000 vehicles because of the heated washer fluid system in August 2008 because a short circuit on the circuit board could overheat the ground wire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened an investigation in February 2008 into 2007 Yukon and Tahoe vehicles over potential engine compartment fires.

The government closed its investigation after the 2008 recall but GM later came across fires in vehicles that had been fixed under the previous recall, prompting the latest safety action.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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